It’s time to release my little butterfly aka Oracle APEX Essentials into the wildlife!

After a long beta period where just a selected number of developers could try out my newest open source development efforts, it’s now time to release it into the wildlife! But what is Oracle APEX Essentials? It is the essential tool collection for your daily Oracle Application Express (APEX) development! It currently consists of two tools.


The Advisor is responsible for checking the integrity and quality of your Oracle APEX application.

Oracle APEX applications are interpreted, that’s why most of the errors are only showing up when the application is executed and not already when you are doing the development.

But there are also errors which even do not show up during execution, for example if you reference a non existing page item with the substitution- (&P999_TEST.) or bind variable syntax (:P999_TEST). Oracle APEX will just ignore it and return NULL instead. But there are not just the obvious errors in an APEX application. SQL injections, performance issues and best practices are other examples.

That’s where the Advisor comes into the game. It’s like a compiler/LINT for your Oracle APEX applications, it will check the integrity of your application based on the meta data of your application. It does not only check the above cases, there are currently a total of 22 checks which are performed! But that’s not all, you can even add your own QA checks! More about that in one of my next postings.

Power Search

Power Search is a Google like search to find text in your Oracle APEX application. It’s the newest child in the essentials tool collection which I have implemented a few weeks back during a long train ride to my sister. I should still do some refactoring to share more much more code with the Advisor, but that’s internal stuff which shouldn’t stop you to use this tool. Just don’t look at the code! ๐Ÿ™‚

Try it out and download it!

Got interested? Check out the project homepage to get more details about Oracle APEX Essentials.

Ideas and feedback

You like it, you have found a bug or have an idea for a new feature? Any feedback is very appreciated. The necessary links can also be found on the homepage.

I hope you like it, have fun with it and can spend more of your time for other things than just for hunting for bugs in your code.

19 thoughts on “It’s time to release my little butterfly aka Oracle APEX Essentials into the wildlife!

  1. I use Advisor extensively for my private projects and it sure has helped me solve a few problems

    I’m sure Power Search will also become an “Essential” Apex tool in my Apex toolbox.

    Thanks for sharing.


  2. Hi Patrick,

    super! Ich nutze den Advisor schon lange und es hat mir immer bei meinen Produktionsreleases geholfen. Super Job! Wird hoffentlich bald in APEX integriert ;).


  3. Hi Patrick,

    Can we use this google search in any apex applications or is it a search in the Apex metadata ?


  4. Hi Francis,

    it’s just a search in the APEX metadata. What do you mean by “use in any apex application”. What should this search do?


  5. Congratulations Patrick.

    Funny, Not a week ago I had visited the Apex Essentials web site wondering if the project was still alive… I guess so.

    I’ll be installing it and using it on client sites (as will Scott, it sounds like) and we’ll give you feedback on what we find.

    Thanks again for all your hard work!


  6. Patrick,

    I installed this yesterday and ran it on a few pages in my current app in development and it was GREAT! It found about a dozen glitches in a variety of areas when I ran it against 5 of the most-elaborate pages.

    I *love* that you can click a link next to the error to jump right to the relevant Apex developer page for that problem. What a stroke of genius!

    Thanks so much for this,


  7. Stew, great to hear that you like it!

    BTW, you don’t have to specify a page number. You can also scan the entire application. I think I have to make that more clear on the user interface.


  8. Patrick,

    Thanks for the tip. I figured that out just after I wrote this mistaken post. I’ve even added a suggestion on the SourceForge Bugs entry you made about this issue.

  9. Hello Patrick,

    I played a bit with your APEX Essentials application and it looks like a great tool ! I will definitely recommend it to my fellow developers ! Since we have a lot of parsing schemas, I will probably install the supporting objects into a separate schema with public synonyms …
    One thing I noticed is, when you remove the supporting objects with the ae_uninstall.sql script, there is still some trash left in the recycle bin ๐Ÿ˜‰ So maybe purge user_recyclebin or drop table … purge might be useful to add to the uninstall script.


  10. I just downloaded and installed the Essentials. I then ran the Advisor against my application and got an error when it tried to display the results. What do I need to change to correct this PL/SQL error that appears in the Result region?

    report error:
    ORA-06502: PL/SQL: numeric or value error: character string buffer too small

  11. Sorry, it appears that the actual error didn’t post. It was ORA-06502: PL/SQL: numeric or value error: character string buffer too small

  12. Hi Dale,

    can you send me an export of your application so that I can have a look.


  13. Patrick,

    thanks for sharing this wonderful app.
    I’ve been using it for some time now and the application has been really helpful.


  14. I don’t know how I just stumbled across this now but I just installed and its already proving to be an amazing tool.

    One of the things I like best is that it addresses one of my biggest complaints about the lack of notification within the Apex production when you refer to a page item as a bind variable that doesnt exist. It causes it to be treated as a null and took me forever to scan through the code just to realize that item didnt exist.

    I hope to see this incorporated into the Apex product itself in the future.

  15. I had the same problem. That was one of the reason why I wrote this tool.

    The chances are high that it will be part of 4.0 ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. I’m getting the error “report error:
    ORA-06502: PL/SQL: numeric or value error: character string buffer too small” when I try to search for a term that, I assume, is too common. Is there any way I can get around this?

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